Marcelle Newbold

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the poet

Winner of Cardiff's Poetry in the Arcades Competition 2020, Marcelle Newbold has had her poetry, with its themes and explorations of place and inheritance, published in various online and print magazines – most recently, anthologies from Black Bough Poetry and Indigo Dreams Publishing. Managing editor of Rare Swan Press, Marcelle is also poetry editor for Nightingale & Sparrow.

the poems

Weeping Willow

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            The boy wanted to know so they embraced.

            Her bark softened to his apples and knobbles,

            less agitated now her tendril jewels dripped.


            She did not answer. Although her roots sang

            again, again and a leaf, perfect in its death,

            kissed frigid ripples to life.


            They whispered soundless love: conceived

            sinew; osmosis; their thirst. Dreamt indigo sweet

            blooms, beds of white, held solace in their skins.


            He knew: the full moon flooded her, bled

            potential. Death score times score, now a feast

            for the roses, evidence of a scheme.


            She knew: memory as a trick, there’s only now.

            So they bathe, drink, exert, worship – keep not to

            themselves, and believe in divine cultivation.

Wassailing Spirits

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            I idle under the apple tree – warped limbs,

            damp smell of green, dormant blooms.


            Eventually they come: spoon and saucepan clanks;

            grins and ciders, bright toes cajole, blunt fingers creak,

            sweet hearts enjoy the blush of dusk.


            And they greet me. They sing & dance & racket around,

            voices conjure bounty, enchant praise, nurture the new.

Moving On

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            And that’s when I knew those seagulls had lied –

            my then-smooth face turned to the sea, breeze

            pulling wetness from the sky and our eyes,

            my summer frocked legs goose-pimpled —

            hand in family hand we sat on my father’s

            favourite gorse-cling bench, saying goodbye,

            as his urn carefully capsized.


            Those seagulls enjoyed the bleak lifting.

            Beaks yellow, blood spot. Bellies chip full.

            Sky blackened wing tips gleaming.

            They mocked: no return.


            For here, now, my daughter sits, serenely

            wrapped in orange lifejacket, cinnamon bun

            in willing chubby hand — licking icing streaks,

            selecting raisins, one by one,

            occasionally releasing a blown blond strand

            from sticky lips.


            The sea churns white crests,

            we heave and jolt, the boat cradled

            through mud-heavy waves,

            our sails sheeted tight.

Publishing credits

Wassailing Spirits: Black Bough Poetry (Christmas Edition 2021)

Weeping willow: Dear Dylan: An anthology after

  Dylan Thomas (Indigo Dreams Publishing)

Moving on: exclusive first publication by iamb